Forty-five U.S. senators seek extra time for input on EPA carbon rule

WASHINGTON Thu May 22, 2014 6:36pm EDT

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Environmental Protection Agency should double the amount of time the public will have to give input on its forthcoming proposal that will aim to cut carbon pollution from power plants nationwide, 45 U.S. senators urged on Thursday.

The senators, Republicans and Democrats from energy-intensive states, sent a letter to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy asking for an extended comment period for the proposal that it will unveil on June 2, which will contain the first mandatory limits on carbon emissions from the sector.

Stakeholders will need extra time to analyze the rule and its impact on electric reliability and consumer cost, the senators said.

"While we all agree that clean air is vitally important, EPA has an obligation to understand the impacts that regulations have on all segments of society," the senators, led by Republican Deb Fischer of Nebraska and Heidi Heitkamp, a North Dakota Democrat, wrote in the letter.

Once the proposal enters the federal register, the public typically has 60 days to comment on a proposal.

The EPA extended the deadline comments on a proposal placing carbon curbs on new power plants to May from March this year.

The letter can be seen at: r.reuters.com/meq59v

(Reporting By Valerie Volcovici; Editing by Mohammad Zargham)

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